On Sunday, I ran the Brooklyn Half. I didn't make a big deal out of this since I hadn't trained at all for it. I was just piggy backing off of my Boston fitness. Last year I ran it 3 weeks after the NJ Marathon and PRed. This year, it was about a month after Boston. I did exactly 1 double digit milage run before this race.
I've run the Brooklyn half 6-7 times. People get very excited about this race and well, Brooklynites get very excited about Brooklyn so that's pretty cool. The course use to start in Coney Island and end in Prospect Park which was a bit of a killer since the last 3-4 miles of the race were hilly. Now they've reversed the course so it starts in the park and then heads along Ocean Parkway to Coney Island.
It's a nice course but not with out it's issues such as:
1. 2 loops of the park. While not hilly, there is a hill and some rolling. Last year was a disaster with people getting lapped but they seemed to have fixed that this year with tweaking the course a bit.
2.7 am start with train that goes to the start not running. Luckily, I got a ride. I still had to get up at 5am.
3. 6 miles on Ocean Parkway. It's just endless. And people claim it's flat. It's not. You can see by running on it and seeing nothing but the road ahead of you it's not flat. You can see the mile markers coming but it's difficult to tell how far from them you really are.
4. Ending on the board walk. It can be sketchy trying to kick on the board walk!
But I digress.
So I decided I was going for it. I really want to break 1:40 and I am a firm believer in throw away races. Yes, I have a goal, but this is not a goal race so why not take it as an opportunity to just throw it out there and see what happens? If I blow up, so be it. It's an opportunity to see where I am and what I need to do to get to where I want to be.
I started with Rayk and Da PIng, both also have the sub 1:40 goal. Ishii started with us too which surprised me since she claimed to not want to run that fast.
Mile 1 8:00 nice start, not going crazy on the downhill
Mile 2 7:54 hill
Mile 3 7:36 some down hill, trying to work that. All 4 of us are still together
Mile 4 7:33 more down hill, 2nd lap of park
Mile 5 7:52 climbing again. Rayk asks me if I wanna run even in the park and pick it up on the parkway, I say yes. Get these 7 miles done then run the last 10k like a 10k
Mile 6 7:52 how consistent. I notice I'm looking around to see who's still with me. I see Da right on my shoulder and say to myself "stop looking!" they're either with me or they're not.
Mile 7 7:21 down hill leading out of the park on to the parkway
Mile 8 7:37 Da come up in front of me, I keep my eye on him
Mile 9 7:41 I think this is when he started pulling away and I just couldn't stay with him, but I keep him in my sights.
Mile 10 7:46 yup, this is my pace right now. I know coming up to mile 10 Team Cheers Beers and Coney Island will be there (they've were Team Cheers Beers and Chowdah in Boston, Team Cheers, Beers, and CHeesestaeaks in Philly. Convenient all those Cs). Generally, I can take or leave crowd support, but it's TOALLY different when it's people you know and you know where they'll be.
Mile 11 7:45 I just don't have any power to go any faster. Hello no training.
Mile 12 7:55 Here Ocean Park way turns right and then there's a nasty sharp left up a steep ramp up to the board walk. Like she was last year, Sandi was standing at the ramp cheering her head off. See above comment about people you know cheering.
I'm trying to stay on the straight part of the planks which are easier to run than the slanted ones.
Mile 13 7:47 I have an idea where the finish is but hello I'd like it to be here now. I look at my watch and see how close I am to my PR (1:41:07) and am a little annoyed that I'm going to miss.
.1 43 seconds.
Da broke 1:40. Ishii PR by 3 minutes, and Rayk ran a really solid race coming off her own spring marathon campaign.
I'm really happy with my time all things considered. I know I need to get some speed work in and I'd like to try and solve the piece of the puzzle of looking for more when I need it. That might just come with speed work. I do think by the time the Philly distancerockandrunhalfmararoll rolls around in Sept, I'll be read to smash 1:40.
I must say, it's nice to not have a marathon on the horizon. No long crazy runs (except with Sharon) no feeling like I'm totally beat up and more time for other things. Don't get me wrong, I'm still loving my running, it's just nice to have a different goal that I can recover from relatively quickly and try again sooner if the goal race doesn't go well.